SYRACUSE As quickly as the Bishop Ludden boys basketball team ascended to the top of the Class A rankings last week, they have likely fallen from that perch after a disjointed 63-56 loss to Albany Academy (10-2) in their own gym Monday night.
With the loss, the Gaelic Knights fell to 12-2. Both of its losses this season have come at home, the other taking place against Westhill Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Rosemary Corcoran Holiday Classic.
Ludden head coach Pat Donnelly tried not to let the Gaelic Knights’ status as the number one team in Class A affect his team’s mindset going into this contest.
“It's nice to see your name up there but it creates a bigger bulls-eye.” Donnelly said. “If you want to be there you've got to expect that. The only one that counts is March 17. If you win in Glen Falls then you can talk about the number one ranking.
“I don't care if we're (ranked) one or 51. We got a taste tonight of what it's like to maybe exit early in the sectionals on our home floor against a good basketball team.”
Ignoring the blustery snow outside, the Gaelic Knight student section came dressed for a luau to help the home team catch fire. Straw skirts, leis, noses covered in “zinc” and even one pair of socks and Tevas could not provide a spark as the Knights hit just four of 21 from behind the arc.
Senior guard Jack Morrow led the visiting Cadets’ long-range attack, dropping in six 3-pointers en route to a team-high 19 points. Two of those jumpers came in a critical stretch of the fourth quarter that broke the game open for the visitors.
Having trailed the entire game, save for a few brief moments in the second quarter, the Gaelic Knights went the first three minutes of the final period without a field goal. Morrow and sophomore Ray Jerome stretched a two-point lead to double digits by the time junior forward Dan Kaigler made Ludden’s first field goal of the quarter.